The Administrator is authorized to acquire a resource, other than a major resource, whether or not such resource meets the criteria of section 839b(e)(1) of this title and the considerations of section 839b(e)(2) of this title but which he determines is an experimental, developmental, demonstration, or pilot project of a type with a potential for providing cost-effective service to the region. The Administrator shall make no obligation for the acquisition of such resource until it is included in the annual budgets submitted to the Congress pursuant to the Federal Columbia River Transmission System Act [16 U.S.C. 838 et seq.].
At the request of the appropriate State, any environmental impact statement which may be required with respect to a resource, to the extent determined possible by the Administrator in accordance with applicable law and regulations, may be prepared jointly and in coordination with any required environmental impact statement of the State or any other statement which serves the purpose of an environmental impact statement which is required by State law.
In the exercise of his authorities pursuant to this section, the Administrator shall, consistent with the provisions of this chapter and the Administrator’s obligations to particular customer classes, insure that benefits under this section, including financial and technical assistance, conduct of conservation demonstrations, and experimental projects, services, and billing credits, are distributed equitably throughout the region.
Except as to resources under construction on December 5, 1980, the Administrator shall determine in each case of a major resource acquisition that a reasonable share of the particular resource, or a reasonable equivalent, has been offered to each Pacific Northwest electric utility for ownership, participation, or other sponsorship, but not in excess of the amounts needed to meet such utility’s Regional load.